Connecticut Private School Takes Action Against Employee Who Joined Wife To Protest Outside Jewish Family’s Home

Connecticut Private School Takes Action Against Employee Who Joined Wife To Protest Outside Jewish Family’s Home

A private school in New Haven, Connecticut placed an employee on administrative leave after he and his wife had a confrontation with a Jewish man outside his home over a pro-Israel yard sign.

Charles Rich stood by his wife, a city employee named Thabisa Rich, during her one-woman protest outside a Jewish family’s house, in which she chanted ethnic cleansing slogans through a megaphone, according to a video first reported on by The Daily Wire.

The man’s employer, The Hopkins School, located a few houses away from the site of the incident, announced on Saturday that Rich was placed on leave from his Associate Director role, and the couple was precluded from being on campus.

“In the video and in social media posts, the spouse used antisemitic language that is deeply concerning,” Head of School Matt Glendinning stated, according to the Hartford Courant. “Antisemitism in all its forms has no place in the Hopkins community or in our larger communities. While this incident did not directly involve the school or its students, we understand that issues such as this can be and have been very upsetting and unsettling.”

The house appears to have been targeted due to the family’s pro-Israel sign. When Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, the resident, went outside to confront the couple and accuse them of “Nazi behavior,” Rich responded, “Well, you do have a sign that says you support Israel.”

“We’re trying to get people to speak up,” Charlie Rich can be heard telling Poupko when asked why the couple was on the street outside his home. “We’re advocating for peace.”

“How? By harassing Jews?” Poupko asked. “Harassing Jews is peace? What the heck is wrong with you?”

Poupko met with school officials on Tuesday to express his concerns and tell his side of the story.

A representative for New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker told The Daily Wire Wednesday that Thabisa Rich,  who is the city’s Community Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, is focusing on “internal administration duties” while they investigate her.

“While people have very different and strongly held views on the war between Israel and Hamas, the mayor believes there is an appropriate time, place, and manner in which to express them,” the spokesperson said previously. “Mayor Elicker believes Ms. Rich exercised very poor judgement in this regard and finds several of her personal social media posts to be concerning and offensive.”

Thabisa Rich was hired last year by New Haven and given the responsibility of managing $1.2 million in federal funding for the city under the America Rescue Plan Act, according to the New Haven Register. At the time, Director of Cultural Affairs Adriane Jefferson said Thabisa Rich was hired because they were “looking for someone who can be a bridge builder,” the local news outlet reported.

Thabisa Rich wiped her personal Facebook page where she posted a livestream of her protest and several anti-Semitic posts after The Daily Wire contacted her. Posts include stating she “does not condemn Hamas” and pushing anti-Semitic tropes by posting “y’all have your pockets lined with bosses who are Jewish” among others.

Thabisa Rich invoked anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish power and said she would not condemn the terrorist group Hamas in now-deleted posts to her Facebook.

In the videos, Thabisa Rich can be heard repeatedly shouting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a chant often used by pro-Palestinian radicals that is seen as a call for ethnic cleansing of the Jewish and other non-Arab populations that live in Israel.

“We were very shaken,” Poupko said. “It turns out they are both very prominent members of the community who came to harass us because of our ‘stand with Israel sign.’”

Thabisa Rich encouraged others to come back to the street with her during a livestream after she left the scene.

“You tell me when you want to come back and ask for a ceasefire and ask for this people to stop their hate because they think that they are white and privileged and that they think that their religion is superior than the rest,” she stated. “I need people to show up to this very same street. We need to find a time to come back and show up in numbers and say no, enough is enough.”

“America is a country full of hate and racism and people need to just be honest and understand that is just what it is,” she said.

The Hopkins School and Charles Rich did not respond to a request for comment.

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By: Kassy Dillon

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